An old theory has found new life as scientists and researchers revive the fear of deadly ancient viruses. The idea is that a dramatic change in the Earth’s climate could unleash a number of diseases for which modern man is thoroughly unprepared. For example in the 1970s, the despair of an impending ice age saw concern over the manufacture and availability of vaccinations. Today, the thought of melting icecaps releasing ancient bacteria continues to gain new ground.
However, it’s the story of scientists actively searching for one of the deadliest and most devastating diseases in modern history that may shine a light on whether the discovery of an ancient virus will eventually bring on the zombie plague… or help protect us from it!
Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have explained how samples of the 1918 strain of Spanish flu were painstakingly recovered from Inuit bodies preserved in the Arctic permafrost. The same care was taken to extract samples from the bodies of infected soldiers from World War 1 and the exhumed corpse of a British diplomat.
While the Spanish Flu devastated the world by claiming the lives of more than 50 million people; the recovery and study of this dangerous virus from a bygone era eventually led to the publication of its complete genome sequence in 2005 which helped researchers better understand the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009.
So, despite the fear that unearthing an ancient and long-forgotten virus may hasten the inevitable zombie apocalypse… mankind may actually benefit from the research and study of such a disease!